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Halloween pumpkins adding to food waste

Halloween pumpkins adding to food waste

This Friday (October 31st) the UK gets a lot more spooky as people all over the country celebrate Halloween.

Children will go trick and treating and bobbing for apples while adults will dress up in their most ghoulish costumes and head to the nearest Halloween-themed night out. It is a unique occasion and only rolls around for one day of the year. No Halloween celebration would be complete without the obligatory carving of pumpkins.

Supermarkets have been stocking up on the seasonal fruit with figures from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) noting that pumpkins sales soared by 90 per cent in the build-up to Halloween. However, a more concerning figure from research by Populus was that two-thirds of people will throw edible pumpkins away after the festivities have ended.

WRAP estimates that over a million pumpkins are purchased every year in the UK for spooky decorations. However, Populus found that large proportions of people throw the fruits out after Halloween instead of eating them.

The research noted that 52 per cent of respondents said they would reuse their pumpkins if there were more recipes for cooking. A further 42 per cent said they avoided cooking pumpkins because they saw it as a hassle having to de-seed and skin the fruit before making a meal or stew from it.

Trewin Restorick, chief executive and founder of the charity Hubbub, noted that research from his organisation had found that 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin was sent to landfill sites in the UK last year, adding to the nation's problem of food waste.

Mr Restorick added: "Halloween is increasingly popular in the UK, but we seem to have ignored a crucial part of the US tradition: cooking with pumpkins rather than throwing them in the bin. With household food budgets under pressure, and 18,000 tonnes [of pumpkin] sent to landfill each year, it's time we rescued the pumpkin."


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